DEPEW, NY- Shop class has changed a lot since most of you went to school. Gone are the days of making birdhouses.
Now the focus is computers, engineering, math and science.
A group of local students just experienced the trip of a lifetime to learn those skills hands on. They went to Space Camp.
Cheektowaga Global security company Northrup Grumman selected Depew Middle School technology teacher Mr. Aaron Nolan and six of his students for an all expenses-paid trip to space camp the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
"The parents said it was like they won the lottery. I was just as excited as they were. It's an opportunity of a lifetime to do this kind of thing," said Nolan.
They operated lunar missions, launched rockets, rode in a multi-axis trainer, and even moonwalked.
"Every time I saw a child they were smiling and saying, 'hey, guess what we did.' I'm like, 'awesome! Guess what I did, too!' So it was kind of a back and forth trying to one up each other about how cool the experience was."
No doubt, Mr. Nolan's other students will benefit from this group's experience.
"I teach an air and aerospace unit and I'm going to take as much as I could possibly take from what I learned in my week there and implement it in that unit."
For the students chose, like 7th grader Nicholas Sugg who wants to be a nuclear particle physicist, this experience was a launch pad to their future.